Lankans have triumphed internationally at athletics, among them, 2000 Olympic Games Bronze medalist sprinter Susanthika Jayasingheand others, including Sriyani Kulawansaand Sugath Tillekaratne. But it is Cricket that is the first and true love of all Sri Lankan sport fans.
When Sri Lanka, led by Arjuna Ranatunga, trounced the giants of world cricket to win the 1996 Wills Trophy in one-day internationals, there was dancing in the streets. When Sri Lanka’s team is playing in major international events the whole island is watching or listening.
Players are major stars, and probably the most popular public figures in the country. Any patch of relatively flat wasteland or village square is likely to have its complement of small boys playing an improvised game and no matter how crude or aged the equipment, the players will be as deadly serious as any World Cup final team.
If you are a cricket fan, you may want to watch a game at the Kettarama Stadium in North Colombo or at Asgiriya, in Kandy, where cricket is played from January to April. Sri Lanka also abounds in water sports, with some excellent scuba diving excursions offered by qualified dive shops.